English Grammar...Do We Need It?

What do you think? You must have heard people say that English grammar is not necessary. The argument is that you didn't learn grammar when you learnt your mother tongue. So why do we need grammar to learn English?

The fact is...

You did learn grammar implicitly when you learned your mother tongue. Now intuitively you know what sounds right and what looks wrong...at least most of the time.

When you learn a language later in life, it is not easy to build up circumstances where implicit and intuitive learning can take place. You have to learn the language deliberately through understanding and practice.

Let me explain...

We marvel at the swimming phenomenon called Michael Phelps, the greatest Olympian of all time, with his 22 Olympic medals (18 of them Gold). In London 2012, he won five medals; but the maximum he won at a single Olympics was eight at Beijing in 2008. At that time, he was compared to the dolphin.

The dolphin is a swimmer from birth, but swimming didn't come to Phelps from birth or even later on as effortlessly as it does for the dolphin.

Swimming is like the mother tongue for a dolphin.
For Phelps it was like a second language...

but he was highly proficient in it.

Swimming comes naturally to the dolphin. Michael Phelps had to train himself according to what you may rightly call the "grammar" of swimming. He understood the value of his tough training under his coach, Bob Bowman.

It is in you to become the Michael Phelps of the English Language through the practice of English grammar. You may not be a "dolphin" of the English language, if the accident of birth has put you outside a native English land; but you surely can become a "Michael Phelps". The good news is...that it entirely depends on you.

Speaking or writing English without English grammar
is like swimming without training.

In swimming, you may even get a first in some local competitions; but before long you'll feel the need for proper training. So too in language...and English language, in particular. If your aim is to master it, you need to have proper Bowman-like training in English grammar.

Grammar appears difficult to many people. I tell my students, "You can sit without trying it and call it tough. The smarter option is to try it. Except for a few, most will soon get the hang of it. So, why not try?"

Who Can Benefit From This Site?

This site is for those who consciously feel the need for English grammar - to learn, to teach, or to write. They are...

  1. Career Seekers

    Those who need to brush up on their grammar skills before they appear for an important examination or another type of evaluation or assessment for entering a career or enhancing it.

  2. Writers

    Writers who require proofreading and editing to be done may contact me for high-quality work for reasonable charges based on the number of words.

  3. Parents of Small Children

    Mothers (interested fathers too) who are dedicated to improving their children's skills in grammar. I would like to help them to master the subject, so that they can create their own exercises, quizzes, etc. to help their children.

  4. Editors and Proof Readers...

    Those who have doubts about certain grammatical points as they work (e.g. writers, proof readers, etc).

  5. Self-learners

    Self-learners who...

    • either had no opportunity to master English grammar

    • or had not tried to benefit from the chance when they had one because they did not value it much at that time (e.g. teachers who are aware of certain "gaps" in their knowledge of grammar).
  6. Serious Learners Who Missed the Point

    Those who did many compulsory exercises in grammar but did not understand the inter-relationship between the parts of grammar and were therefore bored at that time.

  7. Language and Grammar Enthusiasts

    Those who love grammar for grammar's sake...for the sheer love of the beauty of grammar...and are wonder-struck by the phenomenon of language, which strangely has become such a taken-for-granted part of our human heritage.

Why I Focus on Grammar

Though grammar is not the only thing I teach offline, this particular site will focus on English grammar and deal with grammar issues. This limited focus is because...

  1. Dealing with everything is dealing with nothing. The vastness of the area of English language teaching and learning forces me to limit my focus to grammar, which I consider to be the soul of English language.

  2. You learn a language by listening, speaking, reading and writing; by practising these skill-sets. Each of these four is not one skill. Each of them is a blanket-term for a set of skills. Grammar underlies all these skill-sets. So, if you know English grammar, you can intelligently practise listening, speaking, reading and writing English language.

  3. Even when you say, you want to avoid grammar, you are consciously or unconsciously using it. You cannot avoid it; it is there always. It is hidden; so people tend to think they are not using it.

You may want to learn the language without being conscious of grammar. Yes, it is possible to a certain extent. However, if you want to be a serious learner or teacher of the English language, and want some level of mastery over it, you cannot forget grammar.

What you will find here

What are these insights about?

They are about...

  • How to learn English?
  • Is grammar needed? Who needs it?
  • What is grammar? Is it difficult to learn it?
  • How to teach it to my children...to my students?
  • What are the most common grammar mistakes?
  • How to make my writing free of grammatical errors?

These are questions which are in the minds of people who seek my help in matters related to grammar. I have my insights into how one can understand and profit from grammar. This is based on the experience gained from...

  • reflecting upon the English language (for I dearly love it) and
  • my teaching it for nearly 25 years.

You will have these thoughts of mine (especially on how to learn) coming as gentle reminders as you go about learning the lessons and doing the exercises.

Contacting Me

I wish you all the best. If you need any service related to English grammar in particular, or English language teaching in general, kindly contact me. Suggestions regarding what you would like to see on this Site and/or in the EZINE that I am planning is most welcome too.

Recommended Reading...

Career and Grammar | English Grammar Lessons
What is grammar | All about nouns | About verbs | Blog
Quiz | Non-finite verbs | The World of Sentences | CBSE Preparation

Related Pages

Parts of Speech

What is Grammar?

The Study of Verbs

The Study of Nouns

The Study of Pronouns

Forms and Functions of Nouns and Pronouns

Non-Finite Verbs (Verbals)

The World of Sentences